Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, ripped into a hapless Daily Trust journalist during a press briefing as he lost his cool.
Pulse is yet to ascertain what the journalist’s question was, but he got more than an earful from the politician who reminded the reporter he’s got a short fuse.
From Fani-Kayode’s harangue, the reporter probably asked the politician if he’s being paid for some of his recent remarks and criticisms.
SaharaReporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, says the journalist's question was: "Who is bankrolling your PR junkets these days?"
It was all FFK needed to flare up.
“What type of stupid question is that? Bankrolling who? Do you know who you are talking to? I will not take any questions from this man. What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll? To do what? Who can give me money for anything?”, Fani-Kayode yelled, eyes bulging and veins threatening to jut out of neck.
“Who do you think you are talking to? Bankroll what? Go and report yourself to your publisher. Please don’t insult me here. I could see from your face, before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that.
“You have a small mind. Don’t judge me by your own standards. I have been in politics since 1990. I am not one of those politicians you think will just come….I have been locked up how many times by this government...suffered. I have been persecuted. Unlike most of the politicians you follow for brown envelope. You!
“I spend, I don’t take. And I am not a poor man. I have never been and will never be. Bankroll who? A former minister? A lawyer? Don’t ever try that with me again. I have a short fuse. Very stupid!!,” Fani-Kayode repeated one last time before storming out of the room in a huff.
Afterwards, some of the journalists could be heard telling the reporter who got under the politician's skin, that he messed up.
“You see your life? You see your life,” one journalist in a red shirt said.
Fani-Kayode, 59, was Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006.
Obasanjo appointed Fani-Kayode his Minister of Culture and Tourism on June 22, 2006 and relieved him of the role on November 7, 2006.
Fani-Kayode was Minister of Aviation from November 7, 2006 to May 29, 2007.
Fani-Kayode has switched camps from the APC to the PDP and vice versa, since Nigeria’s return to civil rule in 1999.
He has also served jail time for alleged corruption.
Fani-Kayode was rounding off a week-long trip in Cross River when he sat down with journalists for the briefing that turned awry.
He was guest of Cross River Governor Ben Ayade in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
He's also been on a tour of other states in the region to inspect projects. Which was why the journalist asked who was paying for his trips.